Watetgate Essay

This essay has a total of 694 words and 4 pages.


Watergate" is a general term used to describe a complex web of political scandals between
1972 and 1974. The word refers to the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. In addition to
the hotel, the Watergate complex houses many business offices. It was here that the
office of the Democratic National Committee was burgled on June 17th, 1972.

The burglary and subsequent cover-up eventually led to moves to impeach President Richard
Nixon. Nixon resigned the presidency in August 1974. "Watergate" is now an
all-encompassing term used to refer to political burglary, bribrery, extortion,
wiretapping, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, tax fraud,

illegal campaign contributions, use of public (taxpayers') money for private purposes and
abuse of power.
The late 1960s were a time of great political and social confusion in the United States.
President Johnson had been destroyed by the Vietnam War and had announced that he would
not contest the 1968 election. A spirit of unrest influenced the college campuses. Demands
for black rights were growing and a huge anti-war movement had developed.

Richard Milhous Nixon (Republican) was elected president in 1968. Nixon was elected on a
pledge of ending the war. During his term, Nixon and his Secretary of State, Dr. Henry
Kissinger, opened up diplomatic relations with China (1971) and established "detente" with
the Soviet Union. It has been argued that only a president with Nixon's well-established
and hostile attitude to communism could have done these things.

1971: Publication of the "Pentagon Papers". These secret Defense Department documents on
American involvement in the Vietnam war were leaked to the New York

Times by an official in the Defense Department, Dr. Daniel Ellsberg. Nixon challenged the
publication of the documents in the Supreme Court and lost when the court ruled 6-3 in
favour of publication.

1970-1: A White House Special Investigations Unit was established, known as the
"Plumbers". This secret group investigated the private lives of Nixon's critics and
political enemies. It burgled the office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist in an attempt to
discover damaging information.

Nixon was reported to have a "hate list", containing the names of many Democrats, James
Reston, Jack Anderson, Jane Fonda, Barbra Streisand and Paul Newman. Somewhere around
1971, voice-activated tape recorders were installed in the Oval Office in the White House.

As the 1972 election approached, the Democrats opted for a liberal candidate, Senator
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